Dear Brighton and Hove City Council,
... Essential Background.
NPPF S32 says "Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe."
The minister has recently confirmed that no guidelines will given as to what is "severe", as local planning authorities are best placed to make that determination.
This offers authorities little protection from their determination being appealed to the planning inspector or judicial review, where objectors or developers claim the impact has been incorrectly assessed.
It is assumed that B&HCC will have rigorous procedures to ensure this determination is performed properly and that an audit trail is maintained in case of challenge.
The aim of this information request is to examine how well B&HCC are measuring up to this challenge.
It is assumed that local authorities are "best placed" as there may be many local factors to take into account, so for the sake of brevity only information about a very straight forward situation will be requested, so many of the potentially conflicting variables can be ignored.
... Specific Information Request.
Considering just a major junction where there is already extensive congestion (say 120% degree of saturation, RFC 1.2, PRC = -33) with extensive delays and queues (many hundreds of cars) and no scope to mitigate the impact of further congestion on public transport ...
What specific guidelines are in place to assist planning officers in determining whether a specific residual impact is severe?
Is a 20% increase in these delays (or queues or %saturation) severe? If not, what percentage would be?
What change in this (practical reserve capacity) PRC would be considered severe?
What change in this RFC (ratio of flow to capacity) or Saturation % would be severe?
Would answers to the above be the same if the development was for 10 houses as it would be for 200 houses?
Would the answers be the same if there were capacity to mitigate this impact on public transport (buses)?
Specifically with respect to Planning Applucation BH2014/02589, what parts of the audit trail for the determination of severity are available for inspection, (so those considering challenges can assess the quality of the determination in advance)?
Thank you for submitting your Freedom of Information (FOI) request to
Brighton & Hove City Council.
We will respond to your request within 20 working days as stipulated under
the Freedom of Information Act (2000).
Information Governance Team
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